Boeing assembly workers earn $10 more in Wash. than in S.C.

Yes, Boeing spends a lot less on an assembly worker’s wages in South Carolina than one in metro Puget Sound.

Workers here earn about $10 more an hour than their counterparts do in North Charleston, S.C., according to analysis by the Charleston Post and Courier.

Boeing workers represented by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) in Washington earn an average of $30.67 per hour, according to the union.

A scheduled 2 percent raise in September will bring that up $31.28 an hour, which means a base salary of $65,062 a year. Machinists often earn more by working overtime and weekend shifts.

The IAM’s District Lodge 751 represents about 32,000 Boeing employees in metro Puget Sound and Portland.

Boeing says that its South Carolina production and maintenance workers earn an average of $20.59 per hour, or $42,827 a year, the Post and Courier reports.

According to federal data, that is actually just below the Charleston region’s average pay of $20.62 per hour, but higher than the average pay of $19.33 per hour for production workers in the area, the paper reports.

However, Boeing plans to give those workers a 1.9 percent raise this fall, which will bring the hourly wage to $20.99 per hour, or $43,659 a year.

Their pay has increased nearly 19 percent over the past three years, a company spokeswoman told the Post and Courier.

Higher wages is one of the things that IAM officials say they can deliver for Boeing’s 3,175 union-eligible South Carolina workers. Those employees will vote April 22 on whether to join the union.

Better working conditions, grievance processes and benefits are among the union’s other selling points.

Boeing officials have pushed back, saying that joining the IAM will cost workers dues but it won’t deliver much benefit.

A brochure given to employees argues that the company’s South Carolina workers are already well compensated, according to Charleston Region Business Journal.

The brochure put total compensation — including overtime, benefits, paid time off and different shift rates — at an average of $80,000, the journal reports.

Dan Catchpole: 425-339-3454; dcatchpole@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @dcatchpole.

Talk to us

More in Herald Business Journal

The Dreamlifter Operations Center at Paine Field airport on June 6, 2019. The operations center is located next the Boeing Future of Flight Aviation Center. (Janice Podsada / Herald file)
FedEx said to be in talks to take over Dreamlifter center

The air cargo carrier would need federal approval to establish regular service from Paine Field in Everett.

Brecca Yates, left, helps guide dental student Kaylee Andrews through a crown prep exercise at Northshore Dental Assisting Academy on Friday, April 9, 2021 in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Dental staffing shortages are more than a pain in the mouth

With hundreds of open hygienist and assistant positions statewide, local dentists are short-handed.

Exterior of the new Quil Ceda Creek Casino on Thursday, Jan. 21, 2020 in Marysville, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Tulalip Tribes reach deal with state on sports betting

If all goes to plan, the tribes could get federal approval for sports books at two casinos by the fall.

Demolition of the YMCA in downtown continues on Tuesday, April 13, 2021 in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Apartments will rise from the site of the former YMCA annex

In all, 260 units are planned for the downtown Everett site. The older brick building will remain.

FILE - In this Jan. 26, 2011 file photo, Nielsen Company CEO David Calhoun, center, watches progress as he waits for the company's IPO to begin trading, on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Boeing CEO David Calhoun declined a salary and performance bonus for most of 2020 but still received stock benefits that pushed the estimated value of his compensation to more than $21 million, according to a regulatory filing Friday, March 5, 2021. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)
Boeing extends potential term for CEO before annual meeting

David Calhoun, who replaced Dennis Muilenburg, has been CEO since January 2020.

The Dreamlifter Operations Center at Paine Field airport on June 6, 2019. The operations center is located next the the Boeing Future of Flight Aviation Center. (Janice Podsada / Herald file)
FedEx nears Paine Field deal as Boeing abandons Dreamlifter

Mukilteo Mayor Jennifer Gregerson called the possibility of new cargo flights “really unfortunate.”

Rescuers carry a part of aircraft recovered from Java Sea where a Sriwijaya Air passenger jet crashed, at Tanjung Priok Port in Jakarta, Indonesia, Monday, Jan. 11, 2021. The search for the black boxes of a crashed Sriwijaya Air jet intensified Monday to boost the investigation into what caused the plane carrying dozens of people to nosedive at high velocity into the Java Sea. (AP Photo/Dita Alangkara)
Lawsuit over 737 crash alleges autothrottle malfunction

A preliminary report indicates that pilots had repeatedly reported the problem days earlier.

FILE - In this Oct. 1, 2020 file photo, traffic passes the Boeing airplane production plant, in Everett, Wash.  U.S. manufacturers expanded in March 2021 at the fastest pace in 37 years, a sign of strengthening demand as the pandemic wanes and government emergency aid flows through the economy.  (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, file)
Boeing sees uptick in airplane orders as travel picks up

The company in April delivered 19 Maxes, three 737s for military use and seven larger widebody planes.

Signs from the Department of Ecology warning about contamination in the creek that runs through Powder Mill Gulch on Wednesday, March 31, 2021 in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
State order targets Boeing Everett plant’s polluted history

Records show a dispute over cleanup requirements for chemically tainted water. The company denies there’s a disagreement.

FILE- In this Sept. 30, 2020, file photo, a Boeing 737 Max jet, piloted by Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) chief Steve Dickson, prepares to land at Boeing Field following a test flight in Seattle. Boeing says it has informed 16 of its customers that they should address a possible electrical issue in certain 737 Max aircraft before using them further. Boeing said Friday, April 9, 2021, that the recommendation was made “to allow for verification that a sufficient ground path exists for a component of the electrical power system.” (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)
Boeing: possible electrical issue in some 737 Max aircraft

The company said that the new problem was unrelated to the flight-control system.

The 214-foot tall cranes work to unload their first cargo shipments at South Terminal at the Port of Everett on Thursday, April 8, 2021 in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Renovated Port of Everett terminal gets first cargo customer

The 655-foot Westwood Columbia is the first ship to call at the newly upgraded South Terminal dock.

Project Roxy is a proposed 2.8 million square foot distribution center that would be built on a 75-acre parcel at the Cascade Industrial Center. The rendering depicts the proposed project at 4620 172nd Street in Arlington from a northwest perspective.
1,000 jobs: Amazon to open distribution center in Arlington

The company is the tenant behind Project Roxy, a $355 million building at the Cascade Industrial Center.